The Virginia Museum of Transportation and the Historical Society of Western Virginia have received a $5,000 grant from the Virginia Foundation of the Humanities to fund “Cotton to Silk,” an oral history project that will collect tales of the railroad.
“Cotton to Silk” has been gathering stories from the transportation museum’s African-American Norfolk & Western Heritage Celebration group, a group of retired railroad employees who meet monthly at the museum, as well as other employees of the Norfolk & Western and Norfolk Southern railroads.
Their testimonies will be assembled into a book and an online exhibition, and be made part of the museum’s “African American Heritage on the Norfolk & Western 1930-1970” exhibit.
Historian and author Sheree Scarborough is supervising the project, in consultation with Ted Delaney, chairman of the Washington and Lee University history department, C.W. Sullivan, a Hollins University faculty member and professor emeritus from East Carolina University, and George Kegley, former director of the Historical Society and a retired business editor of The Roanoke Times.